Interested in an Apple TV deal? According to 9 to 5 Mac, Apple retail employees were told this morning that anyone buying Apple’s streaming box will also get a free $25 iTunes gift card. The offer seems to be limited to Apple Store locations, though we’re keeping our eyes on Apple’s online store for signs of a similar promotion. Apple will reportedly offer this deal until March 5.

The free iTunes gift card can be used to purchase TV shows or movies from the iTunes store, or apps from the App Store for your iPhone or iPad. If you’re already going to spend $25 with Apple at some point, you can look at the deal as a sort of discount on the Apple TV.

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Should you take advantage, though? That I’m not so sure about.

We’ve talked about the possibility of a new Apple TV within the next few months. The current model is about two years old, and those close to Apple say the company has big plans for the TV space. Apple’s discussions with media companies and cable TV operators have only fueled the fire. Will the update have all of that TV passthrough integration everyone’s been talking about? Who knows. But an update feels nigh.

If you’re an early adopter, hold off on purchasing an Apple TV until WWDC in June. If Apple is indeed putting out a new version of the box, I think it’ll be announced before that event or at it so developers can begin playing with the SDK. As far as a release goes, it could be within the next few months, or closer to the holiday season. And my bet is sooner rather than later, because Apple’s year is already heavily weighted toward the back end with iPhone and iPad events.

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If you aren’t an early adopter, there’s nothing wrong with the current box, and there exists the possibility that a newer Apple TV could be more expensive than the current $99 version. Getting $25 worth of free media or apps is nothing to sneeze at, either. If you want a relatively inexpensive way to stream your iTunes-bought media (and you don’t want to wait), the third-generation Apple TV gets the job done.

Update:

The folks at 9 to 5 Mac were able to confirm the promotion with Apple, and that it also extends to Apple’s online store (though no evidence of the deal is visible on Apple’s website yet).


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